Philippine Island Times Adventures of an American expat in the Philippines

May 22, 2009

The Great Leap Forward

Filed under: General — Donald @ 12:39 pm

I’ve spent way too much time over the past few months figuring out the nuts and bolts of living here. One big issue is transportation. Tricycles are available at the road in front of my house, but the wait can be over an hour and they only run during daytime. My landlady rents me her motorcycle for fifty cents an hour, but it’s not always available, and riding on an island with lots of dogs and no good hospital is a risky proposition. It’s unusual for a month to pass without hearing of a motorcyclist being killed on Siquijor. Finally I went to Cebu and forked over big money ($3500) for a little truck.

These things are made by Suzuki, the motorcycle company, for the Japanese home market. Once they get too old to pass emissions tests there they are chopped up and sold. Filipinos buy the parts and put them back together in great numbers. It’s a 4×4 with high- and low-range gear ratios and a locking differential. The engine has only three cylinders and a tiny 660cc displacement, but after giving it a workout, I’d bet that with the right tires this truck would climb a tree. (One of my tires is mounted backwards, by the way. Not a country where you can expect perfection.) A couple of removable benches under the canopy will seat four Kanos or six Filipinos.

No nook or cranny of Siquijor is safe from my advances.

5 Comments »

  1. I had the backward tire flipped, the wheel computer balanced, a loose tie rod tightened, the wheels realigned (using a piece of string), coolant added, the fan belt replaced, and the truck fully detailed. Two guys worked steadily for two about hours. Total bill: about $20.

    Comment by Donald — June 4, 2009 @ 3:55 pm

  2. this little truck you bought is awesome!

    Comment by scott_b — November 25, 2009 @ 1:37 am

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